Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2001
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394- 6082
Tom Durkin, deputy director, South Dakota Space Grant Consortium 394- 1975
Last Chance to See Mir
Time is running to see the Russian space station Mir as it makes its final orbits around Earth after 15 years in space.
Mir is visible from Rapid City Saturday, Jan. 13, Sunday, Jan. 14, and Monday, Jan. 15. ( See table for exact time and locations)
The main module for the Russian space station Mir was launched in Feb. 1986. Several large additions have been linked to this core since then, and at nearly 140 tons Mir now ranks as the most massive satellite in orbit. This giant complex will appear as a brilliant, slowly moving " star" in your sky when it passes overhead.
“ This is your last chance to view the history- making, $ 3 billion, 136- ton Mir space station before it is deorbited in a controlled crash over the Pacific Ocean in March,” Tom Durkin, deputy director of the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, said. “ Mir's gyros, used to control the station's attitude, will be turned off on Feb. 10. On March 6, the final killing pulse will decrease Mir’s speed and cause it to plunge into a desolate zone of South Pacific waters later that day.
“ The deliberate ditching of the Russian spacecraft will produce a sizeable shower of hardware that will reach Earth's surface,” Durkin said.
The viewing times below are for the next few days.
Date Time Direction Duration Maximum Elevation
( from/ to) ( minutes) Above Horizon( degrees)
13- Jan- 2001 6: 02 pm WNW/ SSE 3 51 14- Jan- 2001 6: 11 pm WNW/ SSE 4 26 15- Jan- 2001 6: 20 pm W/ S 4 13
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.